Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Business media details Walker's rise to "king of Kochworld"

Pretty interesting read in Chicago business media Crains' about Walker's Koch connections.

The story fleshs out Scott Walker's Tea Party connections which media usually ignore while giving the label to possible presidential contenders and Walker opponents like Tea Partiers like Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul:
On a sunny Saturday in September 2009, with Wisconsin in the throes of tea party fervor, conservative starlet Michelle Malkin fired up a crowd of thousands at a lakefront park in Milwaukee with rhetoric about White House czars and union thugs and the "culture of dependency that they have rammed down our throats."
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican candidate for governor, casually attired in a red University of Wisconsin Badgers sweatshirt, stepped to the podium to amplify the message. "We're going to take back our government," he shouted, jabbing the air with a finger. The attendees whooped and clapped. "We've done it here, we can do it in Wisconsin and, by God, we're going to do it all across America."
In a way, the event was Scott Walker's graduation to the political major leagues. The audience had been delivered up by Americans for Prosperity, a tea party organizing group founded by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire energy executives whose fortune helps shape Republican politics. With Americans for Prosperity, the brothers had harnessed the tea party's energy in service of their own policy goals, including deregulation and lower taxes. And in Walker, they'd found the perfect instrument to help carry them out. The rally was one of the first times they'd joined forces.
Put this alongside Walker's proclamation in 2012 that he was "the original Tea Party in Wisconsin," and  a March, 2014 Salon.com posting which I have called the most undercovered Walker story - - his anointment at a 2007 conservatives' summit somewhere on the shores of Lake Michigan - - and you get a sense of the teamwork, intention and commitment behind Walker's rise to power as the key Tea Party operative.

From Salon.com:

“How did we do it in Wisconsin?” RNC Chair Reince Priebus asked Saturday morning. “The simplest way I can tell you is we had total and complete unity between the state party, quite frankly, Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party groups, the Grandsons of Liberty. The [Glenn Beck-instigated] 9/12ers were involved. It was a total and complete agreement that nobody cared who got the credit, that everyone was going to run down the tracks together.”
Priebus made his comments on a Saturday morning CPAC panel addressing how conservatives could fight and defeat organized labor state by state...
“Wisconsin,” Norquist later told the crowd, “is the model//.”
Scott Walker’s 2011 “budget repair” law, passed amid a high-profile multi-week protest occupation of the state capitol, severely reduced the right of public employees to collectively bargain, effectively imposed public sector “Right to Work,” and required regular “re-certification” elections among employees on whether to retain their now-narrowed form of union recognition.
Panelist Luke Hilgemann, the current Americans for Prosperity COO who formerly led the Koch-backed group’s Wisconsin efforts, told the crowd that the 2011 victory “started back in 2007 on the shores of Lake Michigan,” at a meeting of fifteen intrepid activists who’d “had enough of government overreach,” including then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. 
Priebus, a former Wisconsin GOP head, credited the ability to pass Walker’s reforms in part to the party and Tea Party activists unifying well before the 2010 primary behind candidates that made voters “proud to wake up” and vote, like Ron Johnson, Paul Ryan, and Walker. Norquist shared that Walker, after deciding to do a hasty signing of the “budget repair” bill prior to the official event, in order to stave off attempts to sign union contracts before it became law, gave Norquist the pen he used to sign the bill.
National media do not regularly give Walker a Tea Party identity. Here is a rare exception I noted at the time in The Washington Post, when Walker went to Virginia in 2013 to campaign for the losing Tea Party/GOP gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli:
At a couple of his rallies, Cuccinelli — in jeans, cowboy boots and a blue blazer — had another national tea party star at his side: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How come Walker's "hometown" newspaper, the largest in the state, isn't willing to tell this story?